It’s nearly retirement time for millions of Canadians, but this stage of life is in transition. We’re living longer than ever, fewer Canadians have generous company pensions and many of us aren’t willing to compromise on lifestyle when retired.
Is it time for a retirement wake up call? Are your plans truly realistic?
Expectations vs. Reality
According to a recent poll by CIBC, only 25 per cent of Canadians in their 50’s would be willing to retire early if they had to live more modestly. And 57 per cent said they’d work longer if it meant having a better lifestyle in retirement.
Most concerning: 25 per cent of Canadians at this age plan on carrying debt into retirement.
A previous study showed that 45 per cent of Canadians have not reached their retirement savings goals and have less than $100,000 going into retirement.
Barriers to Saving
If Canadians aren’t truly ready for the new retirement, they have their reasons. According to an RBC poll, Canadians aged 18 to 54 are concerned that they will not save enough for retirement – and multiple savings priorities could be to blame. The poll found that 48 per cent said saving for their kids’ education and 36 per cent said caring for aging parents hold them back from socking away enough funds to retire well.
How to Change the Savings Cycle
- Get some help via a financial planner — crunch the numbers to find out how much you truly need to retire in comfort.
- Deal with debt. Carrying debt over into retirement can put a major crimp on your lifestyle.
- Assess your insurance needs with an expert. Illness or disability now or in retirement can have a big impact on your ability to save and live well.
- Get your home’s property value assessed to be sure the windfall you’re expecting from downsizing is truly realistic.
- Keep a balanced perspective between saving for yourself, saving for kids’ education and spending now on things like renovations and holidays.
Whether retirement for you is a few years or a few decades ago, don’t be unrealistic about the true costs of living well without income. Start planning and saving now to guarantee your golden years will be truly golden.